Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spain and Hot Weather

or Facing Stereotypes

Its cold here. 15 degrees top temperature, and its the 1st of May. That means, during December through to May, its varying degrees of cold. Cold being no t-shirt weather. This is not really the image of Spain that one is sold across the world of eternal beaches, sweating, fans and the clap clap of Flamenco.

So, let’s face the reality and see what’s really going on here.

Spain is a rather large country. I sympathise because I’m from Australia. Of course there is diversity. When people meet me, they always ask how the weather is in Australia. I always pause, because I’m thrown by the question, and answer, well, Australia is a big country and its weather depends on where you are and the season and so forth. Where I’m from, on the Gold Coast, its usually warm all year, and especially hot in the summer.

Spain, in it way, is the same. We live in North Eastern Spain, in an area called Catalonia. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and before coming here, I’d no idea of its existence. Australians are not typically big on European geography.

As in most countries, the division of one location from another is some form of political system artificially imposed upon a map, and not really much else. Spain is made up of provinces that are like little countries, some with their own language (like Catalan and Basque), and most with their own distinct cultural identity. This identity is still insisted upon in many daily conversations and used within the media as a selling and interest point.

So from now on, we’ll try to face the reality of Catalonian life, and stop comparing it to the Spain one is sold on the tourist trail.

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